The Master of Science in Sustainability programme equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to solving challenges of sustainability in the context of global change, with specific focus in the areas of climate change and biodiversity. Drawing on an innovative, interdisciplinary approach, the programme integrates methods and resources from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities.
The programme builds on UNU’s strong record in research and capacity development, as well as the extensive network of scholars and academic institutions participating in UNU research. The programme is practically oriented, user-focused, and of the highest academic quality. It is intended for recent graduates, professionals and practitioners interested in the unique opportunity to study at a global university and gain valuable skills, which will enable them as international professionals to meaningfully contribute to the work of governments, civil society, the private sector, and the UN and other international organizations.
Students are required to earn more than 30 credits for the master’s degree, and can take courses from UNU-IAS and partner universities in Japan. Students are also encouraged to take a joint diploma offered by the UNU-IAS and The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (UT-GSFS) on Resilience for Sustainability. The diploma requires students to gain 34 credits, eight of which should be from a pool of courses designated by UNU-IAS and UT-GSFS under the joint diploma programme. A joint diploma can only be awarded to students who successfully complete the two-year master’s degree programme.
The standard period of study is two years; the programme starts in September, with students expected to complete all the requirements by July in the second academic year after enrollment.
Application deadline: 28 February 2014
For information on the specific courses offered as part of this degree programme, please visit the the curriculum information page on the UNU-IAS online learning website.
The programme is taught by an expert teaching faculty comprising both UNU-IAS academic staff and invited distinguished scholars and practitioners.
Sharing a building with many UN agencies, UNU-IAS offers a unique learning environment for its diverse international student body.
The UNU Library offers access to a range of academic books, over 10,000 electronic journals, World Bank and OECD publications, and official UN documents issued since 1946. All students are provided with a comprehensive library orientation session at the beginning of the course.
A dedicated computer lab is provided for students, with software to cater to the needs of each course, including GIS, environmental modelling applications, and statistical analysis tools. In addition, students have access to a number of international conferences, workshops, and symposiums at the university.
UNU-IAS provides an international environment, with faculty, staff and students of over 40 different nationalities. The MSc programme includes courses featuring more than 15 international guest lecturers from leading agencies and institutions, providing students with opportunities to learn from their unique expertise and experience.
UNU-IAS assists students from the time of their registration to graduation, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties adjusting to a new country and culture.
An induction programme is conducted at the beginning of the academic session, introducing students to the staff responsible for specific student services, and familiarizing students with the campus through a tour of the facilities.
Students are provided with a handbook about living in Tokyo prior to their arrival, including information on how to find and secure accommodation.
The Academic Calendar shows important dates and university holidays for the academic year.
UNU-IAS welcomes applicants with:
Applicants for the Master of Science in Sustainability, Development, and Peace are required to have met the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:
The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:
Applicants, except for the cases below, must submit original TOEFL or IELTS score reports (from a test taken within the last two years) to Admissions Office at the time of application:
UNU-IAS requires original TOEFL/IELTS score reports (no photocopies accepted).
Application Processing Fee: None
Tuition Fee: 10,000 USD per year
Estimated total expenses for the master’s degree programme for 2 years including tuition are approximately 5,700,000 JPY or 56,000 USD. Applicants must show financial resources adequate to meet the full costs of educational and living expenses.
Your official application must be submitted through the online application form. You will need to create a user account to submit your applications. The online form can be saved and returned to at any time before submitting.
UNU-IAS may at any time require applicants to provide verification of the information and documents submitted as part of their application and/or additional information including, but not limited to, an interview.
Please do not call the Admissions Office regarding application status or admission decisions as we will not release them by phone.
Those who wish to withdraw from the application process should contact the Admissions Office through the online inquiry form. When submitting the form, please ensure that “MSc Degree” is selected as the topic of your inquiry, and please use the same email address you used when submitting your application.
The Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) Scholarship is available for outstanding applicants from developing countries* who can demonstrate a need for financial assistance, and they will be considered as candidates for the award of the scholarship.
*The developing countries listed in the latest OECD DAC list.
The JFUNU scholarship covers the full tuition fees, and provides a monthly allowance of 150,000 JPY* for living expenses for a maximum of 24 months. Travel costs to and from Japan, visa handling fees, and health/accident insurance costs must be covered by the student.
*150,000 JPY is the average monthly living cost for an international student without dependents in Tokyo, although this amount may vary depending on the lifestyle of the student.
Please note that applicants who want to pursue a second master’s degree at UNU-IAS is not eligible for the scholarship.
A limited number of scholarships are offered for the UNU-IAS Master of Science in Sustainability programme under the Asian Development Bank–Japan Scholarship Program (ADB–JSP). The award of the scholarship is based on application selection results. Only applicants that are accepted for enrolment in the UNU-IAS Master of Science in Sustainability programme can be considered as candidates for the ADB scholarship.
Full tuition, subsistence allowance including housing allowance, medical and accident insurance, books and instrumental allowance will be covered by the scholarship. A monthly subsistence allowance including housing allowance for one person for the academic year 2014 is approximately JPY 150,000 (subject to change for the academic year 2015). An economy class airfare will also be provided for the most direct route between the scholar’s home country and Tokyo Narita International Airport.
Further information is available on the ADB website.
Interested applicants should submit the following documents in addition to the application documents required by UNU-IAS. Please upload the following documents under section 7c of the online application form.
Note: Each income certificate must show annual income in your local currency and US dollars, and be written in English with a signature or a stamp. Please only submit authorized certificates issued by public agencies. For parents who are retired, unemployed or deceased, kindly submit a certificate issued by a local agency, company or government, with a signature or a stamp as applicable.
If your question is not covered in the FAQ, please contact us using the online inquiry form. Please ensure that “MSc Degree” is selected as the topic of your inquiry. If you have already submitted an application to us, please use the same email address on the inquiry form.
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
T: +81 (0)3 5467-1212